21022018-TTC-01.qxd 2/21/2018 1:22 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 wednesday, february 21, 2018 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 2 no. 51 | 20 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd New Delhi, February 20 In order to check ponzi schemes, the government today proposed a stringent law to punish those who raise funds through unregulated deposits. The Union Cabinet today gave its approval to introduce Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018, in Parliament. “It is aimed at tackling the menace of illicit deposit-taking activities. Institutions running such schemes exploit regulatory gaps and lack of strict administrative measures to dupe poor people of hard-earned savings,” a statement said. The Bill, it said, provides for complete prohibition of unregulated deposit-taking activity. Authorities would be set up by state governments to “ensure repayment of deposits in event of default”. As per the release, the Bill would ban unregulated deposit-taking activities altogether by making them an offence ex-ante, rather than the existing legislative-cum-regulatory framework which only comes into effect ex-post. The Bill proposes to create three types of offences — running of unregulated deposit schemes, fraudulent default in regulated deposit schemes, and wrongful inducement in relation to unregulated deposit schemes. — TNS/PTI Pvt firms can mine coal commercially Cabinet approves opening of sector New Delhi, February 20 The government today launched its most ambitious big-bang reform in the coal sector by opening up commercial coal mining to private sector companies. The approval for opening up of the mining sector came at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The panel approved the methodology for the auction of coal mines and blocks for sale of coal under the Coal Mines (Special provisions) Act, 2015, and the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. Besides ensuring transparency, it will also boost investment, create employment and enhance earnings and improve living conditions of labourers, according to an official statement. The opening up of commercial coal mining for the private sector is the most ambitious coal sector reform since the nationalisation of this sector in 1973. The Supreme Court had on October 24, 2014, cancelled 204 coal mines/blocks allocated to various government and private companies since 1993 under the provisions of the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973. The Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill, 2015, was passed by Parliament for Nod to156 more BMPs for Army AssaultedatKejrihouse,says Chief Secy; MLA detained AAP says charges baseless I BJP wants Delhi CM to quit THE MOVE ■ The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the auctioning of coal mines to any firm bidding the highest per tonne price ■ At present, private sector firms are allowed to mine coal only for use in their cement, steel, power and aluminium plants ■ Coal India Limited is the sole commercial miner with 80% market share at present ensuring transparency and accountability. Enabling provisions have been made for the allocation of coal mines by way of auction and allotment for the sale of coal. The methodology gives highest priority to transparency, ease of doing business and ensures that natural resources are used for national development, officials said. — TNS New Delhi, February 20 With Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash lodging an FIR for an alleged assault on him by ruling Aam Aadmi Party MLAs at the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal late last night, where he had gone for a meeting, the issue appears to have snowballed into a major controversy. AAP legislator Prakash Jarwal, who along with MLA Ajay Dutt alleged that Anshu Prakash “abused” and made “casteist” remarks against them, was detained tonight in connection with the alleged assault, police said. He was picked up from his house at Deoli. “There is a possibility he will be arrested later,” sources said. The BJP has demanded Kejriwal’s resignation, while the Congress termed the incident an “administrative and constitutional crisis” and sought an apology from the Chief Minister. Anshu Prakash alleged the “premeditated” assault on him was a “conspiracy” of those present at a meeting. He alleged that Kejriwal, his deputy Manish Sisodia and 11-12 AAP MLAs present at the meeting threatened to “implicate” him in false cases if the issue of releasing TV advertisements about the MANAS RANJAN BHUI Stringent law to check ponzi, unregulated deposits soon? /thetribunechd IAS association secretary Manisha Saxena (green sari) and other IAS officers take out a candlelight march from Rajghat to Delhi secretariat over alleged manhandling of Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash (inset). AAP government’s achievements was not resolved. He was roughed up, he alleged. The CM’s office has, however, termed his allegations “bizarre and baseless”. Sisodia said the allegations were “ludicrous”. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sought a report from Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. After meeting a delegation of officers, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “Civil servants should be allowed to work with dignity and without fear. I am deeply pained... justice will be done.” Members of the IAS officers’ association met Baijal and later said they would boycott all meetings convened by Kejriwal and his Cabinet colleagues till the CM apologised. In an email to the Commissioner of Police, Dutt demanded an FIR against Anshu Prakash. He said he had asked the CS about complaints regarding ration distribution in his constituency (Ambedkar Nagar), but the latter misbehaved and left the meeting. The Delhi secretariat reportedly witnessed chaos as Environment Minister Imran Hussain was mobbed by the staff. The police had to escort the minister to his office. The minister later filed a complaint alleging assault. Meanwhile, the IAS officers’ associations of Punjab and Haryana have condemned the “assault”. — TNS & PTI New Delhi, February 20 The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, met here today and okayed the purchase of 156 infantry-carrying vehicles — popularly known by their Russian acronym BMP . These will be procured for Mechanised Infantry and other arms and services like Signals, artillery observation teams and engineers. These armoured vehicles look like tanks and form the main equipment for mechanised forces. These will cost Rs 1,125 crore and be supplied by the Ordnance Factory Board. Their procurement will meet the operational requirement of the troops in rapid deployment of mechanised forces. The DAC also cleared a specialised survey vessel for the Navy to carry out hydrographic operations in the Indian Ocean region. Thesemap the sea bed. These will be purchased from an Indian shipyard at an estimated cost of Rs 626 crore. — TNS BSF jawan killed in LoC sniper fire A BSF jawan was killed on Tuesday after he was hit by a Pakistani sniper fire from across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir's Tangdhar. He was deployed at a forward defended location along the LoC in the area. PAGE 10 PNB ‘stray case’ blame lack of ethics: FM , Promises to chase down wrongdoersIWarned banks thrice about SWIFT misuse:RBI Tribune News Service ‘BANK MANAGEMENTS LACKING?’ Firefighters at work at food processing factory at Sandharsi village near Shambhu on Tuesday. RAJESH SACHAR Ammonia cylinder blast in Rajpura factory kills 3 Aman Sood PROBE ORDERED Tribune News Service Rajpura, February 20 Three persons were killed and 11 injured after an ammonia gas cylinder exploded at Himalaya Fresh Protein Factory on the Ghanaur-Shambhu road in Sandharsi village this morning. Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has announced a magisterial probe into the incident. Those killed were identified as Surinder Kumar (42) of Sogalpur village and Charanjit Singh (22) and Gurjinder Singh (19) of Baghora village — all of them factory workers. The injured have been admitted to Government Rajindra Hospital — six of them in the ICU. All injured were also factory workers. They were sleeping in the unit when the blast occurred. As a precautionary measure, residents of nearby villages were evacuated after ■ The explosion occurred at a food-processing unit (Himalaya Fresh Protein Factory) on the ShambhuGhanaur road on Tuesday ■ Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident, besides announcing an ex gratia of Rs 1 lakh to the next of kin of each deceased many of them complained of uneasiness in breathing. The CM has directed the civil and police administration to extend all assistance to the victims and support the joint team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and chemical experts from the National Fertilisers Limited (NFL). The blast occurred in the factory wing dealing with frozen peas and potatoes around 1.30 am. “The pungent smell of ammonia is still emanating from the factory unit,” villagers said. Patiala Deputy Commissioner Kumar Amit said, “We have ordered a probe by an SDM-level officer, who would submit the report in a week. We will then see if the factory owner had obtained all requisite permissions to store gas cylinders and whether all norms and safety regulations were being followed.” “Capt Amarinder has also ordered the Patiala Deputy Commissioner to personally oversee the rescue and relief operations,” said a statement from the CM office. The CM has announced an ex gratia of Rs 1 lakh each to the next of kin of those killed and free treatment to the injured. The police have registered an FIR at the Shambhu police station under Sections 304, 336 and 280 of the IPC against the directors of the factory unit. New Delhi, February 20 Breaking his silence over the Rs 11,400-crore fraud detected in Punjab National Bank (PNB), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today blamed lack of ethics in a section of business, auditors and bank management for the challenges being faced by the banking system. The state will chase down wrongdoers who cheat the banking system, he added. Amid the PNB fraud, the Reserve Bank said it had cautioned banks thrice since August 2016 on the risks arising from potential misuse of SWIFT infrastructure, which was created by banks for their business needs. Without naming Punjab National Bank or the alleged kingpin of the scam Nirav Modi, Jaitley referred to these as “stray cases”. “With regard to lack of ethics that a faction of Indian business follows, it When authority is given to the managements, you are expected to utilise that authority effectively. Were they found lacking? On the face of it, the answer seems yes. Arun Jaitley, FINANCE MINISTER is incumbent on us as a state, till the last legitimate capacity of the state, chase these people to the last possible conclusion to make sure that the country is not cheated.” Speaking at an event, Jaitley said the system of banking depends on trust, the relationship of borrower and the lender. He added that the bank management did not live up to their task as it failed to detect the delinquent. He added that the government has given authority to bank managements to work with autonomy but with greater accountability to discharge this authority with responsibility. The FM went on to blame auditors for being unable to detect irregularities, who he said were either looking the other way or failed to detect the irregularities. He also asked the supervisory agencies to assess the system requirement to detect such frauds. He said supervisory agencies should ensure that stray cases are nipped in the bud and are never repeated. The RBI said in a statement CBI ARRESTS NIRAV’S TOP GUN VIPUL AMBANI ■ Vipul Ambani, the top executive handling finances of celebrity designer Nirav Modi’s firm, was among five officials arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday evening. The arrests were made in two parallel bank fraud cases being investigated by the probe agency. ■ The CBI, which had already arrested five Punjab National Bank officials, has turned its attention to the role of senior executives of the private firms for the massive bank frauds linked to companies run by Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi. that the risks arising from the potential malicious use of the SWIFT infrastructure, created by banks for their genuine business needs, has always been a component of their operational risk profile. “The RBI had, therefore, confidentially cautioned and alerted banks of such possible misuse, at least on three occasions since August 2016, advising them to implement the safeguards detailed in the RBI’s communications, for pre-empting such occurrences. Banks have, however, been at varying levels in implementation of such measures,” it said. Further, in view of large divergences observed in asset classification and provisioning in the credit portfolio of banks as well as the rising incidence of frauds in the Indian banking system, the RBI said it has been decided to constitute an expert committee under the chairmanship of YH Malegam, a former member of the Central Board of Directors of RBI. Edit: niravmodi malfeasance more reports page 7 Top hospitals made 200-2000% profits:Report Analysis by apex pricing authority sees huge margins in drugs, devices, consumables Aditi Tandon Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 20 Top private hospitals in Delhi and National Capital Region have been clocking profit margins ranging from 200 to over 2000 per cent on drugs, diagnostics and consumables being billed to patients. In the first-ever analysis of drug, diagnostics and devices procurement and billing data of four private hospitals, the National Pharmaceutical and Pricing Authority (NPPA) revealed that all hospitals prescribed non-scheduled branded medicines to patients instead of scheduled medicines in order to expand their profit margins. Scheduled drugs are much cheaper since these are part of price control under the National List of Essential Medicines. “The total cost on scheduled medicines is only 4.10 per cent compared to 25.67 per cent on non-scheduled formulations. For higher margins, hospitals preferred prescribing nonscheduled branded medicines though scheduled medicines under NLEM are supposed to cover all essential medicines,” the apex drug pricing authority said, calling for a policy intervention. The NPPA revealed that all these top hospitals charged patients at shockingly high Today’s issue is of 20 pages, including four-page Jobs and Careers. profit margins on scheduled drugs, branded non-scheduled drugs, consumables and medical devices. Picture this — 67 units of disposable syringes (without needles) which cost the hospital Rs 15.29 each were billed to patients at Rs 13,400 (a margin of 1208 per cent). Profit margins in 18 intravenous infusion sets were also found to be very high. These cost the distributor Rs 5.20, the hospital Rs 8.39 but the patient was billed Rs 2,070. A similar story is seen across segments — be it scheduled drugs or branded ones. Scheduled Adrenor injections (12) cost the hospital Rs 13.44; the MRP was Rs 52.35 and the patients were billed Rs 628. Among non-scheduled formulations, hospitals charged patients Rs 42,476 for 10 EMTIG injections bought for Rs 442 each. The profit margin works out to be 856 per cent. Hospitals even made profits on three-way stop cocks. While they bought 39 units for Rs 5.77 each, they billed these to patients at Rs 4,134. The NPPA found diagnostics constituted more than 15 per cent of the total cost to patients in hospitals, which were not named. “Diagnostics services do not come under the NPPA and can only be regulated by states through the Clinical Establishments Regulation Act,” the NPPA said. The authority also said that profit margins in non-scheduled devices used in syringes, cannula and catheters were exorbitant. The NPPA said that most drugs, devices and disposables were sold by hospitals from in-house pharmacies, making huge profits. The analysis came after two Delhi-based private hospitals were caught overcharging patients. Fortis Gurugram had charged the family of a dengue death victim exorbitantly. Max Shalimar had recently wrongly declared a newborn dead.
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